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  1. #1
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    New to the area, trail recommendations?

    Hello all, my wife and I recently moved to the area from Illinois. I must say I'm very impressed with the biking scene so far out here! I've been riding on and off for quite a few years, but I just took my wife for her first time last weekend at Rockville. She loved it! Looking for some mellow, easier places to ride in the Vacaville/Fairfield area, preferably within an hour or two. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Come over to Marin. China Camp in San Rafeal is a great ride, very mellow and great scenery. Mount Tam via Old Railroad, AWESOME VIEW from top, all fire road, so the climb isn't horrible but its just a 7 mile push to the top. If you want something a little more advanced try Tamarancho in Fairfax, not a beginner trial but not bad, great food and beer in fairfax as well. There is also Skyline in Napa, it is the closest to you but a little more technical and strenuous. Lets see there is also Annadale in Santa Rosa, again great food and beer after ride.

  3. #3
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    This site was invaluable when I first started riding. It'll tell you everything you'll need to know about the legal trails in this area.

    Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides

  4. #4
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    Thanks we will definitely check those out! I'm actually working in Larkspur right now, so I basically go right by China Camp everyday. Skyline was an option at first, but decided against it when I started seeing reviews about lots of climbing and technical sections.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotQuiteClimbing View Post
    This site was invaluable when I first started riding. It'll tell you everything you'll need to know about the legal trails in this area.

    Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides
    That will definitely come in handy! Thanks!

  6. #6
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    That'll definitely come in handy! Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPem92 View Post
    Hello all, my wife and I recently moved to the area from Illinois. I must say I'm very impressed with the biking scene so far out here! I've been riding on and off for quite a few years, but I just took my wife for her first time last weekend at Rockville. She loved it! Looking for some mellow, easier places to ride in the Vacaville/Fairfield area, preferably within an hour or two. Thanks!
    Where in Illinois? I have family in Rockford and Glen Ellyn.

  8. #8
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    Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa border. Few hours south of Rockford acutally, I've gone through there numerous times on trips on Wisconsin. Small world lol.

  9. #9
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    Is that near Mt. Joy?

  10. #10
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    Yeah it's in the area, but I can't remember where exactly off the top of my head.

  11. #11
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    So YOU'RE the new traffic. Just kidding, I'm traffic too. JHart said it for close by trails, and Mt Tam is really always fun, even if it is kind of tame fire roads (avoid sunny crowded weekends). Also check out Mt Burdell in Novato when the hills turn green, Skyline Napa can be easier than Rockville depending upon speed/route, so check it out. Oat hill mine road, Angwin, and I think someone posted a new connected system near Jack London State park which I am dying to check out (may be more fire road than singletrack? But those are fun a few times if you mix 'em in). And new Stafford Lake bike park in Novato, fee required, and I heard their season passes may be sold out?

  12. #12
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    uhhhh, so you took your wife for her FIRST mtb ride in Rockville and she loved it.......does she have sisters??? About the last place I would take a first time MTBer. Consider yourself the luckiest MTB rider on the planet! Head out to Lynch Canyon for super mellow riding but steep climbs, Crockett Hills will do well for you also, new trails, well built and not as steep of climbs. Anything in Marin is cake, including Tamarancho, switch backs and no rocks (used to be better) does not constitute technical , Annadel (note the correct spelling) in Santa Rosa will be the most technical in the North Bay, plus the food and beer options are awesome. If you head East, Folsom Lake SRA is super beginner friendly, Hidden Falls in Auburn is a great intermediate option and Auburn SRA will provide more advanced riding options. The farther east you go, the more difficult it gets. Welcome to West.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent_G View Post
    uhhhh, so you took your wife for her FIRST mtb ride in Rockville and she loved it.......does she have sisters??? About the last place I would take a first time MTBer. Consider yourself the luckiest MTB rider on the planet! Head out to Lynch Canyon for super mellow riding but steep climbs, Crockett Hills will do well for you also, new trails, well built and not as steep of climbs. Anything in Marin is cake, including Tamarancho, switch backs and no rocks (used to be better) does not constitute technical , Annadel (note the correct spelling) in Santa Rosa will be the most technical in the North Bay, plus the food and beer options are awesome. If you head East, Folsom Lake SRA is super beginner friendly, Hidden Falls in Auburn is a great intermediate option and Auburn SRA will provide more advanced riding options. The farther east you go, the more difficult it gets. Welcome to West.
    Hahaha, yeah like I said I'm new to the area so I'd never been there before either. First trail we took was pretty difficult and I think we went the wrong way, very steep and rocky. She was hating it but once we got onto some easier singletrack and cruised she loved it!

    Oh for anyone looking to ride there, stay away from cave trail. Very rocky and washed out. Ended up walking down most of it, huge mistake on my part lol.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the info guys! We're going to have a lot of busy weekends going and checking all these places out!

    Also, are the trails open year round here? I'm assuming they are, but In the midwest everything pretty much shuts down in the winter due to snow.

  15. #15
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    Welcome from a fellow Illinois transplant (albeit in 1966). Dad was from East Moline, mom was from Galesburg. I was born in G-burg.

    If you find yourself over n Sonoma County, drop me a line and I'll pretend like I know Annadel. I live approx. 1-1/4 mile from the park and ride it three days a week. Annadel is mostly rideable throughout the year. It drains very well and can usually be ridden with a day or two of a big rain.

    Edit: If you get a chance, take a look at the Annadel video that was just posted this morning.
    Hallo, My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    Welcome from a fellow Illinois transplant (albeit in 1966). Dad was from East Moline, mom was from Galesburg. I was born in G-burg.

    If you find yourself over n Sonoma County, drop me a line and I'll pretend like I know Annadel. I live approx. 1-1/4 mile from the park and ride it three days a week. Annadel is mostly rideable throughout the year. It drains very well and can usually be ridden with a day or two of a big rain.

    Edit: If you get a chance, take a look at the Annadel video that was just posted this morning.
    My wife is actually from Moline, right next to East Moline. I ised to go to the Galesburg skatepark back in the day quite a bit. Annadel looks like a good place! I'll hit ya up when we make it over there. It's always nice riding with someone who knows the area already.

  17. #17
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    if you are in the Solano County area, check out Pena Adobe just a few miles from Rockville in Vacaville. there is a moderate fire road climb to the very top with a great view, and then a nice singletrack all the way down that is well worth the climb. it isn't whistler, but if you live in the fairfield/vacaville area, it's a nice place to get a quick after work fix in before the sun goes down.

    Down 80 West passed the carquinez bridge, there's Crockett Hills, which isn't as mellow as Pena, and not as technical and rocky as Rockville, but it has some fast single tracks, good climbs and many many jumps to play on. welcome to the area!

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    I actually live in Vacaville. Rode across town to Pena but it was pretty hot and dusty when we got there. Not much shade so we're waiting till later in the year to ride there. Crockett sounds like a good one though! Will definitely check it out, thanks!

  19. #19
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    +1 to Annadel. There's a lot of choose your own adventure options around there depending on your skill level. I'm there 2+ times a week so I can recommend some loops based on what your looking for in terms of distance and difficulty.

  20. #20
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    Rode out at Mt. Tam last weekend, Annadel yesterday, and hopefully Crockett next weekend.

    I loved the flow track at Mt. Tam, but wasn't a huge fan of how it's just basically one big loop with limited options. Had a blast at Annadel, some quick downhill sections and technical rocky areas. Tons of different trail combinations. Pumped to check out Crockett next weekend. Been reading up on it and it sounds awesome!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPem92 View Post
    Had a blast at Annadel, some quick downhill sections and technical rocky areas. Tons of different trail combinations. Pumped to check out Crockett next weekend. Been reading up on it and it sounds awesome!
    Crocket is pretttttty beat up right now, I'd give it a miss until spring. Just go back to Annadel

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPem92 View Post
    Thanks we will definitely check those out! I'm actually working in Larkspur right now, so I basically go right by China Camp everyday. Skyline was an option at first, but decided against it when I started seeing reviews about lots of climbing and technical sections.
    OMG...how long is your work commute?!

    miles and time?

    and welcome to the area!! i am working out a move to Santa Rosa, so i look forward to riding at Annadel. never been. my work commute sucks, so loading up to drive to mtn bike is almost a non-starter for me. i am so over driving by the time the weekend arrives.

    i will however go and meet some friends that live in Santa Cruz soon.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilswalk View Post
    Crocket is pretttttty beat up right now, I'd give it a miss until spring. Just go back to Annadel
    Well thanks for the heads up! Crockett was next on the list mainly because it's only half an hour from me, compared to almost two hours to Annadel. Definitely going to head back out to Annadel soon though!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomchakabowwow View Post
    OMG...how long is your work commute?!

    miles and time?

    and welcome to the area!! i am working out a move to Santa Rosa, so i look forward to riding at Annadel. never been. my work commute sucks, so loading up to drive to mtn bike is almost a non-starter for me. i am so over driving by the time the weekend arrives.

    i will however go and meet some friends that live in Santa Cruz soon.
    It's about an hour drive for me at around 50 miles one way. We start at 6am though so I'm on the road before the traffic gets too bad. I feel ya though, I try to drive as little as possible on my days off LOL.

    Annadel is definitely worth the drive though. I'll be heading up there quite a bit in the future. If ya ever want someone to ride with shoot me a pm!

  25. #25
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    How many of you guys ride full suspension?? So far on my rides 99% of people I see are riding them, usually flying by me as I'm navigating technical sections. It really has me starting to not like my hardtail so much LOL. With all the rocks and rough sections on trails out here I could definitely see how they'd be beneficial. I just can't justify dropping four figures on a bike just yet though.

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